A federal judge has granted the unconditional release of John Hinckley Jr, the man who tried to kill US President Ronald Reagan in 1981 to impress actress Jodie Foster, six years after he was released from a psychiatric hospital.
The court ruled that after decades of care and counselling, Mr Hinckley no longer posed a threat to society and could be released from any judicial review from June 15.
Mr Hinckley, now 67, shot the US President as he left the Hilton Hotel in Washington on March 30, 1981. He said he wanted to impress actress Jodie Foster, whom he had seen in the movie “Taxi Driver”.
He had been declared criminally irresponsible by the courts.
One of his bullets ricocheted off the armored presidential limo and hit Ronald Reagan in the chest, passing very close to the heart.
Three other people were injured, including James Brady, then White House spokesman, who was left partially paralyzed and with speech problems.
After more than 30 years of confinement in a psychiatric hospital, John Hinckley Jr was released in 2016 and allowed to live with his nonagenarian mother, in a secure residential area in the small historic town of Williamsburg, 240 kilometers south of Washington.
The rules of his judicial control were strict: in particular, he had to report any movement (with routes taken, timetables and possible setbacks), regularly receive medical treatment in the office or by telephone and keep a diary of his daily activities.
He was also absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly contacting Jodie Foster and her relatives, the descendants of Ronald Reagan, or the entourage of other affected people explicitly cited by the judge.
According to court documents, his mental state is now “stable”.
"If he hadn't tried to kill a president, he would have been granted complete freedom a long, long time ago," Judge Paul Friedman said in September.